I found the writers thoughts to be thought provoking and therefore I thought I would reblog this article I found yesterday. Reblogged from here
Three Types of Rules, Three Types of Dominant?
When I consider rules in the context of a BDSM relationship, I generally sort them into three categories:
Standing Orders: Something a D-type orders an s-type to do on a regular schedule (daily, weekly) or in response to a particular recurring circumstance (example: you might feel randy…but you still can’t masturbate without asking first).
Rules & Protocol: These are the kind of thing vanilla folk think of when they think of BDSM — calling someone “Mistress” or “Sir,” always allowing your D-type to begin eating first, or having a greeting or collaring ritual to help you “switch gears” from your vanilla mindset to one where you focus on your particular dynamic.
Behavior Modification: Rules made with the particular goal of developing a new habit or breaking an old one, often with the explicit aim of improving the s-type’s life in some way.
If there are three types of rules — Standing Orders, Rules & Protocol, and rules aimed at Behavior Modification — are there three types of dominants?
There may be, and it’s useful to consider it, whether you’re an s-type who is trying to figure out why the kind of dominance they want and the kind their D-type wants to give are two different things, or if you’re a D-type trying to suss out what kind of dominant you are and will become. Of course, dominants are rarely 100% one type or the other, but it seems to me that dominants tend to lean towards one type of dominance more than another. Understanding what kind of dominant your D-type is may help you appreciate their unique character more; and if you are a D-type, knowing which type you are may help you understand your strengths and consider whether or not you’d benefit from broadening your portfolio of skills and experiences.
The Protocol And Ritual Dominant
Dominants who focus on protocol may tend to be more “I want what I want when I want it, and I want it right now” dominants. Protocol and ritual focus a couple on things that happen in realtime and in person, and that’s what matters to this dominant. The past is over, and the future hasn’t happened yet: we’re in the now…so let’s not waste it.
A dominant who’s a very pragmatic person who likes concrete, tangible outcomes may favor protocol and ritual over developing standing orders or presiding over a regime of self-improvement for an s-type. This kind of dominant can develop a wonderfully commanding presence over time simply by engaging in protocol and ritual again and again — practice really does make perfect, and often, this is the kind of dominant who often can really pull off looking like a dominant, and can instantly project a sense of dominance into the moment, wherever he or she happens to be.
Protocol and Ritual dominants have a real sense of theater and are the kind of dominants who will browse the racks of fetishwear and actually buy something. This dominant doesn’t have any cardboard boxes that “just haven’t gotten unpacked” in their bedroom. You can bet they gave some thought to those sheets, and their inner sanctum is as much a stage set for an intimate performance as it is a place to sleep.
They’re the kind of dominant who might be able to step into the role of a Roman Emperor or Empress — lounging on their throne and waiting imperiously for someone to hand them a drink. They may expect an s-type to simply hang around and be available…just because they want it, and then not use it, because, hey, it’s good to be King (or Queen). Not really a planner, some protocol and ritual dominants are actually anti-planning, since what they thrive on is spontaneity, and too much fussy planning just ruins things by making it feel too much like, well, work. They’re also the kind of dominant who might issue a half a dozen orders in a flurry, and then not issue another order for weeks, and not see any problem with that whatsoever.
Aware of subtle details in your appearance, attire, and demeanor, this kind of dominance is likely to be maddeningly good at reading your body during a scene or during sex. They’re very aware of their own presence, and sometimes maddeningly cool to the touch, the James Bond or Helen Mirren of dominants. A dominant whose BDSM practice focuses on protocol and ritual can make the kind of dominant you want to go back to again and again, just to experience the thrill ride of being with them.
The Standing Orders Dominant
The Standing Orders Dominant is the kind of person who’s already good at many things that some of us aren’t very good at at all — like remembering to change the oil in the car, putting our keys in the same place, and planning in advance for events. They’re the dominant that you imagine when just the word “Strict” turns you on. They have standards they live by — and now you’re going to live by them, too.
While a Rules & Protocol dominant is interested in making good things happen right now, a Standing Orders dominant may be more interested in making sure bad things don’t happen now or in the future. They’re the kind of dominant who will give you an order like: “Never let your gas tank go below half full,” where a Rules & Protocol dominant might be delighted by your determination and pluck to hear that you hitchhiked to show up on time for a night of pleasure. A Standing Orders dominant’s motto might be: “Things Would Be Perfect If People Just Did What They Should Do…And Fortunately, I’m Here To Make Sure That Happens.”
A Standing Orders Dominant might need practice giving out rules that others can carry out — some of them are so good at running their lives smoothly that they’re perplexed and even irritated when what seems entirely obvious to them is a mystery to everyone else. The Standing Orders dominant might benefit from a few broad hints reminding them of the pleasures of the bed — their long To-Do list and high standards make them the kind of dominant most likely to pass up sex in order to finish up an important task.
Solid citizens whose sense of order and routine makes them unshakable in good times and bad, this kind of dominant may be uniquely suited to either a domestic discipline or “50’s Household” dynamic, or dynamics typically referred to as “Taken In Hand,” or “Around Her Finger.” Frequently found in military or educational settings.
The Behavior Modification Dominant
As rare as unicorns, rare enough that people wonder if they exist in pure form at all, the Behavior Modification Dominant’s motto is It’s For Your Own Good. A Behavior Modification dominant is capable out of getting pleasure out of very abstract and long-range plans whose outcomes may not benefit them directly at all. They’re the kind of dominant who will give you a regular bedtime even when they’re a night owl and that actually restricts their own playtime with you. They’re the kind of dominant who is willing to commit to supporting you as you make long-term changes to improve your life.
Often geeky and a bit nerdy, this is the sweet, caring dominant who also has a touch of the Mad Scientist about them. They’re never happier than when they come up with a new theory about why you do what you do, along with an ingenious new way of changing the trajectory of your life through a few simple rules. They’re the ones who disassembled a toaster as a kid, and they’re just as obsessed with your inner workings. They read books, go to classes, and apply knowledge from fields near and far to your relationship. They are proud of themselves when your life improves, especially if that improvement was related to their involvement in your life. They’re proud of you when you decide to move on from old habits, situations, and behaviors that don’t work for you anymore.
Their talent for abstraction may make them seem a bit distant or distracted in person; they may need more time to transition into the headspace for realtime dominance than other dominants do.
As rare as this kind of Dominant is, they’re also precisely the kind of dominant who’s most likely to disappear or fade over time. Their interest in you, and their willingness to invest huge amounts of time, effort, and focus in you and your life, may exhaust their own resources. They may not believe that they “deserve” anything in return from an s-type, waving you away when you offer service when you can see that they’re tired or stressed. Unless an s-type can be just as ingenious and determined as their dominant is at figuring out a way to get the Behavior Modification Dominant to get as well as to give, their brilliance will burn out and fade away as their self-sacrifice consumes them.
What if There’s a Mismatch Between the Kind of Dominance I Want And The Kind of Dominant My D-Type Is?
Very often, an s-type comes to BDSM with a strong preference for one of the three types of dominant, only to find out that their mate or new playmate leans towards one of the other two types. This is among the most common causes of D/s relationship mismatch.
An s-type who longs for someone who will provide them the structure and rules to clean up their life may end up with a Rules and Protocol Dominant, who likes kinky sex in the bedroom (and is great at it) but gives little thought to tomorrow.
An s-type who fantasizes about a hot and sexy dominant who looks great in their head to toe leather gear and effortlessly projects a feeling of dominance anywhere they go may assume that either a Standing Orders dominant or a Behavior Modification dominant isn’t actually dominant at all and doesn’t “have it in them” because they don’t have the wardrobe along with the theatrical ability to set the stage and step into the role of Sexy Evil Dominant. They may browse their favorite porn and despair of their mate ever buying a pair of thigh-high stiletto boots or ditching the Comicon t-shirt for a naked chest that shows evidence of a gym membership.
Try to remember that your dominant isn’t trying to hurt you or deprive you of the kind of dominance that you crave: they’re just being who they are. You wouldn’t put up with someone telling you “well you’re just not submissive enough” when you won’t let go of a hard limit — so throwing “you’re not a REAL dominant” at your partner when you’re disappointed isn’t fair, and if you find yourself saying that in the heat of the moment…well, it might be time to apologize when you calm down.
You and your partner may have already learned how to negotiate and compromise around sexual activity — you might do the flogging one of you loves one night, and the oil massage and naked service that drives your partner wild another night. In the same way, you can both learn to compromise on styles of dominance. The dominant partner can read about and explore other styles of dominance and try out a few new things, and the s-type can open their eyes and learn to appreciate the good parts of their partner’s native dominant style. While an s-type or D-type’s core dominant style is unlikely to completely change, we can all change and grow over time.